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Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided.
How much clearer can this be?
As long as we are loving and faithful to God, His plan, His Kingdom, His Son, and His creations— our sins are atoned. It’s not one or the other; it’s both. The connecting word is “and,” not “or.” They’re a packaged deal, wrapped together to conquer the power that sin seems to possess over us.
Let’s look closer at how we demonstrate this love and faithfulness.
By respecting God and honoring our relationship with Him, driven by a need to not disappoint Him and strain that relationship, we make choices built on love and faithfulness. We respect Him by listening to and obeying Him over all others and trusting Him in all circumstances. We honor our relationship with Him by not choosing another over it and by representing what we have with Him as valuable and priceless. Plainly put, we don’t cheat on Him with someone or something else.
Let’s look at the rest of line 6. It mentions fear of the LORD. I, like so many others, have confused the context of this word when referenced in the Bible. When I started my deeper study of Hebrew and ancient text and customs, I began to see where I and many others had gone wrong, where our ignorance floundered. Fear of God is not the same fear that we equate to punishment and horror but rather an awestruck awareness of our connection with a Force that makes our existence possible; it’s the realization that you are in the presence of the One who created you, that you have a relationship with your Potter, and through every element that makes you you, there is an alignment with Him. And it’s that alignment that helps us avoid doing the work of the enemy.
Why do we struggle with this understanding?
We struggle because we misunderstand the words and actions of love, faithfulness, atonement, fear, and evil. We struggle because we don’t think we’re worthy of God’s promises and a loving and nurturing relationship with Him. We have chosen to think and act for God, assuming that there’s no way He does or would love and commit to us in the same way or greater, and we choose to assume both our role and His in this relationship. We see our sins, and our hearts sink with shame and signal to the mind to operate from this state of lack, and we make decisions that temporarily serve the enemy’s plans instead of God’s eternal plans. There is no love in shame or shame in love. There is no shame in faithfulness or faithfulness in shame. You can’t possibly carry around shame while fully embracing the allness of God’s presence, power, and love in your life. It is the trick of the enemy that convinces you that you are not worthy, not good enough, and not truly loved and valued by God. The enemy needs you to believe these lies so that you walk farther away from God’s path and closer to the enemy’s pit.
The enemy needs you to choose and declare a life that rejects the relationship with God so that you will, at some point, vow your soul to that side. The enemy is patient. There have been thousands of years of studying and manipulating humankind, and for every moment you have lived your life in your current body, the enemy has studied and tried to manipulate you. The enemy wants you to choose hate over love, indifference over love, recklessness over faithfulness, and noncommitment over faithfulness. And whenever you think and speak of and to God, the enemy wants you to choose contempt over awe. The enemy doesn’t want you to glorify God. The enemy wants you to disappoint, enrage, and break God’s heart. Your sins can be atoned for. You can avoid evil. Trust God, the One who created and heals your heart and mind.
Father I pray that in my daily walk that I demonstrate my love, respect, and honor for You. I hope that you feel the fullness and not the lack. Through my love and faithfulness I pray and believe that my sins have been and will be atoned, and I will be completely at-one with You. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. Amen.
And with that family, I pray that you are blessed, that you see and embrace your blessings, and that you are a blessing to others.
Copyright 2011-2023. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com
Music: Climb by Shane Ivers; Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com